Someone Whose Job Is To Take Care Of Cats Told Us How To Choose The Best One

For too long, the war between dog lovers and cat lovers has driven a wedge through the animal community. It’s a raging feud of Montague/Capulet proportions, and I say to all those who indulge in this: for shame.

I was never allowed to have a cat growing up because my father, an adamant dog lover, was against the idea. Yet still, I am a cat lover. I am the bridge between factions, and I’m here to advocate for the felines.

In all seriousness though, there are so many wonderful cats looking for their forever homes out there – just walk in to your local Petbarn Adoption Centre and see them for yourself! Black cats especially, who are the least popular because apparently they’re witchy or unlucky (though personally I see that as more of an incentive — give me a mystical sidekick any day).

We’re here to help you figure out how to pick the best cat is for you, by asking the right questions at the rescue shelter. To do so we enlisted the help of the Regional Clinical Director of Greencross Vets, NSW and ACT, Dr. Adam Sternberg.

on your marks, get set..

So you’ve decided to get a kitty. Good! Your witchy rituals will have extra power! Nah I’m just kidding, you’re gonna have a great new family member. But you’ve got to consider a few things before committing to bringing a cat home from the shelter.

According to Dr. Sternberg, the key areas you need to ask about in order to find your match are their coat-type, temperament and overall health . “Be aware that cats are not small dogs and therefore have specific health concerns and needs,” he said.

It’s simple stuff — you aren’t just slotting a new cat into your life, you’re changing their life too. It should be a mutually beneficial move.

me in all my relationships, tbh

Let’s take it piece by piece, shall we? 

Coat-wise, you want to consider the length of hair you’d like your cat to have. This will affect the extent to which you’ll need to groom them, and if anyone at your home is allergic to cats you should consider a hypoallergenic kitty.  You’ll be able to interact with the cats up for adoption at the shelter and see their coat for yourself but make sure to ask the team at the rescue centre about their coat type’s specific needs. 

Temperament encompasses a few things — what was the cat’s previous lifestyle like? Did they live indoors or outdoors? Maybe both? Were their other pets living with them?

If you already have another pet, consider if they’ll get along. If you have a friendly pup then it might be okay as long as you supervise them during play, but if you’ve got birds or fish, you might want to make sure that the cat in question isn’t inclined to go hunting each day.

exact footage of my best mate’s cat when it gave the budgie a fright

There’s actually a lot of responsibility that goes into owning a cat — from keeping up-to-date with their health (“Twice-a-year health check-ups for life are needed,” according to Dr. Sternberg) to training them out of damaging your furniture (yep, kitties can be trained too). 

All cats in Petbarn Adoption Centres are vaccinated and go through a thorough health check before they become available for adoption. Some cats may have pre-existing health conditions that require special care, and as long as you’re able to give them the care they deserve, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t make wonderful pets.

Ultimately though, when you go to adopt a cat, you want to find the right fit for your individual needs. Ask the team at your local Petbarn about the different cats available for adoption and whether they’d be suitable for you.

And remember, it’s a bit of a Harry Potter situation. You know how the wand chooses the wizard? The right cat will make themselves known to you.